Wrexham FC has been named the third oldest professional football club as fans voted on whether to approve a change to the date the club was set up.
As we reported back in February new evidence was uncovered to suggest that the club was formed much earlier than the current date on the crest of 1873.
Our guess was one year out but evidence presented to the Wrexham Supporters Trust and given to fans before tonight’s AGM shows conclusive evidence from the Wrexham Advertiser and Montgomeryshire Express that Wrexham FC was formed in 1864.
At a dinner held on Tuesday 4th October 1864 and reported in the Wrexham Weekly Advertiser on Saturday 8th October 1864, the Denbighshire County Cricket Club Secretary, Mr. Edward Manners stated: “There is one thing gentlemen, I wish to name – the great want of amusement in this town in winter time. It is my intention to purchase a football in the course of this week, and I shall expect a good many down to the field next Saturday.”
The cricket club are important in all this as they formed the origins of the football club out of having nothing to do in the winter.
Further evidence includes an advert in the Advertiser on Saturday 22nd October 1864 which reads: “Football – This good old leg hit game is now about to be revived in Wrexham. A match will be played this day on the Denbigh County Cricket Ground (The Racecourse) between fifteen of the Town Club (just formed), and fifteen of the Fire Brigade.”
On Saturday 22nd October 1864 the “town club” played their first ever game against the Prince of Wales Fire Brigade and the first annual meeting of Wrexham Football and Athletic Club is advertised for members to attend at the Turf on Tuesday 26th September.
The final and perhaps most conclusive bit of evidence comes from the Montgomeryshire Express dated 1st July 1879, in a report from a dinner to celebrate Newtown’s Welsh Cup victory over Wrexham which states: “We have got a gentleman here who can date back fifteen years as Mr Evan Morris is the vice-president (FA of Wales). He is more – he is the president of the Wrexham Football Club.
Evan Morris went on to say: “Your worthy chairman has spoken of me as President of the football club at Wrexham, which has existed for 15 years.”
With some very solid evidence provided it is now in the fans hands to put Wrexham just behind Notts County and Stoke City in the history stakes.
Wrexham Supporters Trust’s Annual General Meeting takes place tonight at 7.30pm at the Centenary Club.